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Feb 7, 2019

On today’s episode of Just the Tips, we welcome a top performance coach who has worked with some of the NBA’s biggest stars, including Kevin Durant, Alan Stein, Jr. But right off the bat, we learned one of the most mind-blowing facts about Alan, his middle name: Alan “The Ballbuster” Stein, Jr. Alan is a world-renowned coach, author and speaker. After a career working with NBA players, he now teaches audiences and clients how to utilize the same strategies in business that elite athletes use to perform at a world-class level. Move over Dean “Bearded Wonder” Holland, the Ballbuster is here.

The intersection of love and work

Alan took a different path than pretty much any other business coach you know. He started playing basketball when he was a kid, and then played in high school and college. Once that was done, he transitioned to coaching, specifically focusing on performance training (running faster, jumping higher). Alan had a great mentor say to him one time: Find out what you love to do, find out what you’re good at, and work at the intersection of those two. And luckily Alan found that with coaching.

Respect the process

Alan had friends and colleagues in the corporate world, and began talking with them about the concepts of his training and coaching, and how they could apply off the court. And what he realized is that the mindset of the athlete actually has a lot in common with the mindset of the entrepreneur. You have to respect the process, you have to embrace change, having rituals and routines, and never getting bored with the basics. Alan is a top-notch communicator, and the connections he makes here will blow your mind.

Have the humility to identify your performance gaps

As Alan says even the most advanced athletes and performers have what he calls “performance gaps.” No one is elite at everything. So the first step is to have the humility to see that you have those gaps. Then, he has a three-step process to overcoming those gaps. The first step is to pick one gap, then work on it for 66 days, and the third step is to keep the spotlight on it. He says the number-one reason new years resolutions fail is because they try to change too many habits at one time. You pick the one habit you want to address, and you focus on successfully getting over that.

Applying these concepts to organizations

Alan is a man of process, and when I asked him about how to apply some of these habit-breaking concepts to larger organizations, he laid out a clear way for a company to foster a culture. The first step is to identify your core values, your north star, what the whole company is working towards. Once you have that, you set standards and processes that move your company toward the goal. Then you create accountability to ensure that all of those standards are upheld. Easier said than done, but Alan is a convincing guy. If you’re looking to establish some better habits, you have to listen to this week’s episode of Just the TIps.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:45] How Alan got into performance coaching
  • [6:20] Alan’s past as an entrepreneur
  • [11:02] How Alan transitioned to the corporate world
  • [14:01] Why athletes have difficulty with business after sports
  • [16:54] How to get past your performance gaps
  • [19:17] The three-step process to get rid of bad habits
  • [24:52] How do you pick the right habit to address
  • [28:33] Applying these concepts to organizations
  • [34:01] Active listening
  • [35:25] Alan’s book, Raise Your Game
  • [37:00] What Alan’s working on right now

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Resources Mentioned

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland: